Shortly after landing at the Anchorage airport, I was sitting in the backseat of the rental car soaking up my surroundings. While stopped at a traffic light, a car wrapped in an advertisement for King Salmon Jerky pulled up next to us.
“Cool,” I thought. “Something truly Alaskan I can bring home.” Plus, I knew I couldn’t afford to bring back fresh salmon so salmon jerky would have to do.
Bringing back souvenirs from vacation is important for me. It helps me enjoy my vacation while home and share the experience with others. I typically like consumable items such as food and beauty products, or useful things, like clothing (no, not T-shirts). And, I also like handmade, artistic items as artwork and jewelry. But, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find these things along my journey.
When we stopped at a Fred Meyer in Wasilla for provisions (aka: snacks), I found the perfect Alaska souvenirs including King Salmon Jerky, clothing, postcards and a calendar of a certain famous Alaskan. Jackpot! We stopped at another Fred Meyer in Fairbanks where I restocked on more postcards and picked up more salmon jerky because I wasn’t sure if I had initially picked enough up.
Ideally, I’d like to hunt around in boutique shops to find those special treasures and I had the opportunity to do so a couple of times. But, Fred Meyer made it very easy and affordable to pick up the other needed Alaska souvenirs and essentials. I registered for a Fred Meyer frequent shopper card for an additional discount on my purchase – not on my souvenirs but on more provisions.
This isn’t the first time I’ve shopped a grocery store for souvenirs. When I head home to Buffalo, I head to Wegmans Grocery Store for edibles as Buffalo chicken wing cheese, Chiavetta’s Marinade, Weber’s Mustard and Sahlen’s Hot Dogs, among other Buffalo foodie favorites. I’ve also done this in other cities such as Vancouver and in the Carolinas. I can usually find food items at a discount and pick up typical non-consumable souvenirs.
If you haven’t been to a Fred Meyer, it’s like a hybrid between a Super Wal-Mart and Super Target.
Of course, I may still tell you those colorful socks I purchased for you were hand-knit by a blind Alaskan woman who used a variety of roots and berries to dye the yarn. The animals weaved into the pattern signify peace, love and wealth. (Because it depicts two bull moose fighting.) I had to climb a mountain 4 miles and fight a grizzly with my bare hands all to bring back this amazing gift for you…